West Indies tour of Pakistan 2018 [Preview]
West Indies is all set to tour Pakistan in the month of April to play three T20I series. This will be West Indies first trip to Pakistan after a period of 10 years. Carlos Brathwaite will lead West Indies for three-match series. Sarfaraz Ahmed will be keen that Pakistan continues the good form in this series after winning the T20 series.
Hosts will be confident to do well in the three-match series against West Indies as the majority of players participated in the third edition of Pakistan Super League. Sarfaraz Ahmed has done well as captain of the side in the T20 format with Pakistan winning 14 out of 17 games played since 2016. Pakistan has managed to win six series on the trot and yet to concede a defeat in a bilateral series under the captaincy of Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Ahmed Shehzad has retained his place in the T20 squad despite a lukewarm season for Multan Sultans in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League. Shehzad has scored 367 runs in 11 matches for Pakistan in the T20 format. Fakhar Zaman has been decent with the bat at the top of the innings. The left-handed batsman has got off to good starts and failed to get a big score.
Babar Azam has been Pakistan’s premier batsman in the T20 format. He has been a consistent performer for the side and instrumental in helping the side post good totals on the board. Azam also played performed exceedingly well in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League and scored over 400 runs for Karachi Kings in the competition.
Pakistan selection committee has selected uncapped Asif Ali, Hussain Talat and Shaheen Shah Afridi for the upcoming T20 series. Asif Ali and Hussain Talat did exceedingly well with the bat for Islamabad United in PSL 2018. Shaheen Afridi was impressive his first stint in the Pakistan Super League and managed to pick up his maiden-five wicket haul against Multan Sultans. The tall left-arm quick has the ability to swing the ball both ways and will certainly bolster pace resources for the series.
Usman Khan, Shoaib Malik, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Amir have retained their place in the T20 squad. Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, and Rumman Raees have been dropped from the T20 side due to various reasons.
West Indies will come into this series after managing to qualify for 2019 Cricket World Cup in England. Chadwick Walton and Andre Fletcher did participate for their respective franchises in the Pakistan Super League. Fletcher looked in good form for Peshawar Zalmi but will need more with the bat for West Indies.
Carlos Brathwaite did a decent job as an all-rounder in the recent ICC World Cup Qualifiers. Shai Hope is a supremely gifted player but must need to convert good starts into substantial scores for West Indies. Jason Mohammad and Rovman Powell will do much better in the format after failing to produce any sort of runs in the T20 series in New Zealand.
Samuel Badree and Ashley Nurse did well for the side in New Zealand. Jerome Taylor and Kesrick Williams will be first-choice pace options for the series.
It will be interesting how the series turns out as West Indies have the batting arsenal to rattle Pakistan side led by Sarfaraz. The first game of the T20 series will be played at National Cricket Stadium, Karachi on 1st April. The other two games will be played on 2nd and 3rd April respectively on the same venue.